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The Saratoga Falcon

Drama productions in full swing

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Simi Srivastava

Students perform in December's student production "Up."

“God of Carnage” written by Yasmina Reza will open Jan. 31 as a student production directed by senior Annelise Nussbacher.  The story revolves around two couples whose sons got into a fight earlier that day.  

They meet to discuss the situation, and throughout the meeting, the parents start to act like children themselves as they re-evaluate life and marriage.

“It’s actually a really funny show,” Nussbacher said. “It’s very relatable — it’s like watching people that you know have it out on stage.”

The show takes place in real time and consists of four characters, including senior Charles Li, who plays Alain Reille, junior Nastasia Kutuyev, who plays Annette Reille, senior Ehrland Hollingsworth, who plays

Michel Houllié and senior Zofia Trujillo, who plays Véronique Houllié.

The show runs tonight and tomorrow at 7 p.m. and Feb. 2 at 2 p.m.

Just completed: student production “Up”

Recently, Hollingsworth directed a student production of his own.

On the week of Dec. 1, the Thermond Drama Center was filled with eager audience members, waiting to watch “Up.”

Written by Bridget Carpenter, "Up” tells the story of a family man in the 70s, who dreams of becoming a successful inventor. The man has a teenage son who realizes that his father is not the father he wants, and ends up befriending a pregnant teenager, thus finding himself taking on the role of a father.

Hollingsworth said he enjoyed leading the collaboration required for a production including directing junior Andrew York, freshman Raymond McCarthy, and freshman Sarah Traina in the roles of Walter Griffin, Mikey Griffin and Maria.

“The most rewarding experience [of directing a show] is having this idea in your head, and then finally seeing it on stage,” Hollingsworth said. “It’s not exactly what you imagined but everyone else has sort of had their input and changed it as well, and its a group effort.”

Drama teacher Sarah Thermond found “Up” to be a complex production.

“It’s a very interesting show because it has interesting elements like dream sequences and dialogue taking place simultaneously, but it is also in many ways a very realistic portrait of a modern family and their struggles,” Thermond said.

She said Hollingsworth showed a mastery of the show’s elements, as well as good leadership.

“I think that Ehrland had a really good understanding of these elements and led his team well, and that he and [stage manager senior] Gray [Robertson] did a great job tackling a technically difficult piece.”

Thermond was impressed not only with the the technical aspect of the show, but also by the work of the cast, a group that included a spectrum of experienced and completely inexperienced actors.

The cast members also felt they had gained a worthwhile experience.

“I think the show went really well,” said sophomore Emily Ludwig, who played Helen Griffin. “All of the actors got along and we had a lot of fun.  We were a little worried that it might not mesh together and be as good as it was, but I think we really pulled it off.”

On deck: “Les Miserables”

The drama department’s next endeavor will be a production of the renowned operetta ‘Les Miserables’ for the spring musical.

Drama students look forward to putting on such a well-known and beloved production.

“This is my first musical with a main part,” said senior Zofia Trujillo, who plays the role of Fotine. “Being able to explore Fontine’s character and journey will be tough, but I’m really excited to do so.”

Other lead cast members include juniors Natalie Miller and Siobhan McMillan, who play Eponine and Cosette, respectively.

Senior Manini Desai, who will take on the role of Madame Thenadier, is looking forward to the challenge of such a difficult show.

“I'm so excited to play [Madame Thenadier] because she's deliciously wild and out there, and I've never had the opportunity to play such a crazy character,” Desai said. “It's also exciting to play in such a well-known show, because this is an incredibly tough show to put on, and everyone knows it, so we really have to perform at a high, professional level, but I know we can do it.”

Like past spring musicals, “Les Miserables” has both dialogue and music; however, the dialogue will be “spoke-sung.” Because of this new challenge, Thermond hopes that students do not exhaust their voices.

“There will be rehearsals where I ask students to say their lyrics instead of singing them for this reason, and this is also the first time that I have ever cast understudies for a show,” Thermond said. “This way, if a singer needs to take a break, or to walk their blocking but not sing, we have someone to fill in and support them.”

Despite these challenges, Thermond thinks the show will run smoothly if students take care of their voices and stay healthy.

Rehearsals for “Les Miserables” started early this month and will continue throughout the semester until the premiere of the show.

The show runs April 25-27 and May 2-3.

 

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